Real estate market insiders expected China's new home sales to trend steadily up over the course of this year as major listed developers posted robust sales in May.
The real estate giant China Vanke Co. said in a report in early June that it reaped a sales revenue of 70.18 billion yuan (11.39 billion U.S. dollars) in the January-May period, up 42.6 percent year on year.
Evergrande Real Estate Group also sold about 1.3 million square meters of housing for a total of 34.19 billion yuan, completing a reasonable share of its 100-billion sales target for the year, according to Saturday's edition of China Times.
By the end of May, leading developers such as China Resources Land Limited and Poly Real Estate Group had completed about half of their annual sales target. Smaller industry players like Sunac China and CIFI Holdings (Group) Co. advanced at a similar pace, achieving 42 percent and 46 percent of its respective yearly target.
The Chinese government tightened controls over the property market in the past months, highlighted by a guideline released in early March urging local authorities to implement measures including a 20-percent tax on capital gains from property sales. The measure was meant to, among other things, curb speculative property buying.
"The measures have dampened market demand to a certain extent, but the overall market sentiment was good in May," China Times cited Mou Zengbin, chief analyst at real estate consulting firm CRIC's Beijing center, as saying.
According to China Times, many developers raised their 2013 sales targets at the beginning of the year, but Mou said new home market was not affected much by the property controls, forecasting 70 percent of developers will be able to complete their half-year sales targets by June.
Chen Guoqiang, vice president of China Real Estate Society said that sales of major developers remained steady because they have fine-tuned their products and sales strategy after the property control measures were rolled out.
Official data showed a total of 2.59 trillion yuan of commodity houses were sold in the first five months of this year, marking a 52.8-percent rise year on year but slower by 7 percentage points from the growth registered in the January-April period.
Mou said the transaction volume will expand as market supply increases, and the prices are likely to trend up. "A steady growth is expected in the property market in the second half of this year," the analyst said.
But developers are acting cautious since further property control measures are not impossible.
"We won't raise or cut prices considerably as policy in the second half remains hard to tell. The main task for the remaining seven months is destocking and implementing an active sales strategy to keep sales at a reasonable scale," said a manager from Longfor Properties Co. who declined to be named.